[Vwdiesel] Anyone else use a VW diesel or Changfa for anelectric power generator?

raymond greeley rgreeley2 at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 10 21:58:24 EDT 2005

shawn, it's correct to assume a bellhousing from a  longitudal gasser would 
bolt up to a diesel eng.
I like the vw diesel gen set and also have plans to move rural now that my 
kids are out.
I've seen some neat things done to recover heat from the exhaust (hydro 
thermal) in addition
to solar thermal.


>From: "Shawn Wright" <swright at zuiko.sls.bc.ca>
>To: "Area31 Research Facility" <stephensrw at stn.net>,vwdiesel at vwfans.com
>Subject: Re: [Vwdiesel] Anyone else use a VW diesel or Changfa for 
>anelectric	power generator?
>Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 18:27:23 -0700
>On 10 Apr 2005 at 19:45, Area31 Research Facility <stephensrw at stn.net> 
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I had been thinking of using a VW diesel for a long time in a standby 
> > genset for my farm estate.  The attraction to this particular engine was
> > extremely good fuel economy, the ability to run the engine on WVO, WMO, 
>or used
> > automatic transmission fluid, and well size matched for a direct drive 
>1800 RPM
> > alternator in the 10-15 kW range. At such a slow speed compared to the 
>life in a
> > car and all the other benefits in care and feeding that a stationary
> > installation can afford an engine including no cold temperature starts, 
> > figured on much longer service life.  As a plus, automotive engines are 
> > easy to get and cost a lot less than similar sized industrial engines.  
>Being a
> > water cooled engine they last longer and are quieter than their air 
> > cousins and co-generation is possible.  I am using the engine coolant to 
> > waste oil fuel and also to heat my shop building.
>Sounds like a great project - I've seen a few VW diesels used as gensets in 
>RVs, where they are also used to heat the interior and the main engine, 
>pretty slick.
> > I began my DIY power plant back in January of this year and started with 
> > 1984 NA 1.6D from a Jetta.  Unfortunately the engine was in really bad 
>shape and
> > I have had to replace it but I was making good power for a while during 
> >
> > Last week I obtained a 1980 NA 1.5 and have been trying to coax a 
>grunged up
> > Bosch FI pump back to life.  I seem to be having success and have 
> > achieved good starting and running now with no smoke, with no load yet 
>on the
> > crankshaft.  Today I am re-installing my flex coupler to the big 3 phase
> > alternator (12-15 kW rating thereabouts) and hope to try the engine 
>under load
> > this evening or tomorrow.
> >
> > I have built this plant from the ground up and am very proud of my work. 
>  I can
> > email a picture file to anyone interested or contemplating a similar 
> > George at www.utterpower.com will be doing an article about my project.  
>One of
> > the obstacles to using this engine in a genset is the odd flywheel on 
>flex plate
> > arrangement that makes it difficult to put a conventional pulley on it 
>as it
> > cannot support side loads.  The way the sterter is mounted away from the 
> > doesn't help either.
>You may be able to save yourself some time by getting a Dasher, Fox, or 
>bellhousing, starter & flywheel. I'm pretty sure they use a standard 
>flywheel and
>starter arrangement, but others here will know for sure.
>  I have designed a flex coupler that appears to take the
> > extreme abuse that a coupler in this location will see.  My design can 
>be DIY'd
> > by anyone with a lathe, drillpress, 3/8-16 tap and arc welding 
> > Using an almost impossible to start engine gave the prototype coupler a 
> > worst case abusive workout.  The rubber components in the coupler were 
> > smoking they got so hot on more than one day  while I was wasting my 
>battery (
> > and poor starter!) trying to start the beast.  I propose to make my 
> > design public domain as a contribution to the alternate energy/home 
>power crowd
> > who need all the help we can get trying to survive despite the enormous 
>mess all
> > the damage that the well funded utility companies have created.
> >
> > In my searches for an affordable replacement engine I located a 
> > Jetta with a 1.6 TD in it.  The engine was rebuilt recently and I 
>witnessed it
> > cold start not being plugged in at -20C.  It took right off first 
>cranking.  I
> > was impressed.  I am buying the car tomorrow, so I hope to be driving a 
>VW turbo
> > diesel soon as well as using a VW diesel at home for electrical power.  
>I have
> > to build a second VW diesel powered genset as a backup to this plant and 
>I also
> > have plans to DIY a 10-15 kW wind turbine on my property this year as 
>part of
> > plans to go off-grid and be energy self sufficient.  I can no longer 
> > rising utility bills and the crippling cost of car gasoline.
>Sounds like a good catch on the TD - they are a truly awesome engine, even 
>than the NA.
> > I am also planning to build a small co-generating DC genset out of a 
> > cylinder Changfa Chinese diesel for just the house. I am looking at the 
>15HP and
> > 18HP models. It will provide domestic got water using my hot water tank 
>as the
> > cooling hopper for the engine, and will charge the 48 volt forklift 
> > when the wind turbine cannot.  The house will be on inverters. The VW 
> > plants in the workshop are to power and heat the workshop (3500 sq.ft.) 
>and to
> > provide electrical backup to the house when needed. Initially (now) this 
> > VW diesel plant wll serve to provide emergency power for the house and 
>shop in
> > te case of utility outages, and to provide economical 3-phase power to 
>run my
> > machine shop.  My rotary converter that I now use is very inefficient 
>and the
> > power bill to run it is very expensive. That alone is 
>justificationenough for a
> > VW powered genset.
> >
> > I could use some advice about the Changfa single cylinder horizontal 
>diesels I
> > am looking at.  They both have swirl chambers but the CR is different. 
>The 15 HP
> > @ 2200 RPM (903 cc) engine has higher CR at 20:1.  The larger 18 HP @ 
>2200 RPM
> > (1093 cc) has a CR of just 17:1.  Since I plan to run this on well 
> > waste transmission fluid  I'm not sure which compression ratio would be 
> > for me.  I plan to run the engine 24-7 at around 900 RPM and load it to 
>maybe 3
> > kW max for battery charging.
>Very interesting stuff. We have a few generators for emergency backup at 
>(15kw Lister, and 250kw Cat), and I've always planned on getting one 
>someday when
>I move to acreage...
>Shawn Wright
>'85 Jetta D
>'88 Westy 2.1L, soon to be 1.6TD 5 speed
>  (see progress at http://members.shaw.ca/vwdiesels)
>'82 Diesel Westy
>Vwdiesel mailing list
>Vwdiesel at vwfans.com

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